Want to explore space? NASA has job openings.
Yes, that's right. NASA is looking for its new class of astronauts to man the Artemis Generation missions, which are intended to set up a station on the Moon and work to send humans to Mars.
Astronauts selected and trained in this program could be sent to live on the International Space Station, 250 miles above Earth and will work towards returning humans to the Moon by 2024—NASA hopes to establish sustainable lunar exploration by 2028 and send humans to Mars in the mid-2030s.
“We’re celebrating our 20th year of continuous presence aboard the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit this year, and we’re on the verge of sending the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a statement. “For the handful of highly talented women and men we will hire to join our diverse astronaut corps, it’s an incredible time in human spaceflight to be an astronaut. We’re asking all eligible Americans if they have what it to takes to apply beginning March 2.”
The application to become an astronaut is open from March 2-31, and the job has a salary range of $104,898 up to $161,141.
However, before you can call yourself an astronaut, there are some basic requirements for applicants, as per NASA's announcement:
- United States citizenship
- A master’s degree in a STEM field, including engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics, from an accredited institution. The requirement for the master’s degree can also be met by:
- Two years (36 semester hours or 54 quarter hours) of work toward a Ph.D. program in a related science, technology, engineering or math field.
- A completed Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree.
- Completion (or current enrollment that will result in completion by June 2021) of a nationally recognized test pilot school program.
- Candidates also must have at least two years of related, progressively responsible professional experience, or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. Astronaut candidates must also pass the NASA long-duration spaceflight physical.
Applicants will be required to take an online assessment that will last about two hours.
The hiring process is long and quite involved, as applicants will go through multiple screenings and interviews. About 120 will be called in for actual interviews after applications are all screened and reference checks have been completed. The applicant pool is huge; the last time NASA took astronaut applications, they got almost 20,000 submissions.
Astronaut applications can be submitted at www.usajobs.gov once the application window is open.
The lucky few that get selected for admission to the program will need to pass medical tests, and the final class will not be announced until 2021. Those selected will go through two years of intensive training before being sent out on any missions.
NASA has selected 350 people to train as astronauts since the 1960s and currently has 48 active astronauts. More qualified people will be needed to further NASA's mission to explore space and learn about what more may be out there.
We want to know what you think. Will you be applying to be an astronaut? Know anyone who might qualify? Sound off in the comments!